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Acapulco World Cup

By Kevin Neuendorf Director of Media & Public Relations

USA Shooting Shotgun Team Excels In Acapulco To Begin 2015

USA Shooting’s Director

of Operations and National Rifl e Team Coach Dave John- son said it best on the fi nal day from the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Acapul- co, Mexico. “Awesome is al- ways great to watch.” It was the reaction upon

hearing that two-time Olym- pic medalist Vincent Han-

historic 2014 campaign, the U.S. Shotgun Team came down to the spring-break mecca and began 2015 with a fl ourish. In the fi ve shot- gun disciplines, Team USA athletes won four of them, earned two additional med- als, scored 10 top-six fi nish- es and captured three Olym- pic quotas.

fi nal and walked away with the top two podium spots, a sixth-place result and an Olympic country quota. Five-time Olympic med-

alist and current Olympic Champion Rhode (El Monte, California) was her usual stellar self on her way to vic- tory.

suring all three Americans made the event fi nals for the second time in Acapulco after enduring a four-person shoot-off to get into the fi nal six after shooting a 70 in qualifi cation. She’d fall in a three-person shoot-off after the semifi nals for a chance in the bronze-medal match. It was an American trio

of fi nalists in Double Trap as well. Jeff Holguin (Yorba Linda, California) claimed

Vincent Hancock won gold in dominating fashion in Acapulco by shooting a perfect match - 157 clays in all. He also won Team USA Athlete of the Month honors in March for the feat.

Photo by: ISSF

cock (Eatonton, Georgia) had just shot a perfect world-record qualifying score of 125 on his way to the un- precedented perfect match and ultimately the sixth World Cup gold medal of his career. It just as well could be used to describe the USA Shooting Team’s all-around performance at the season- opening World Cup of 2015. In a word, awesome. Not losing a bit of the mo- mentum it built throughout a

Hancock’s golden perfec-

tion was the fi tting conclu- sion. As the U.S. coaching staff is fond of saying, “They can’t beat you if you don’t miss.” And he didn’t, not any of the 157 clays he saw, something that hadn’t been done in international com- petition since the new rules came into place after 2012. The trio of Kim Rhode,

Caitlin Connor and Morgan Craft represented 50 per- cent of the women’s skeet

18 USA Shooting News | May 2015

Connor (Winnfi eld, Loui-

siana) faced off against Rhode in the all USA fi nal but would have to settle for her third career World Cup silver medal. Her strong per- formance denotes an even stronger American women’s skeet presence, as the Loui- siana native was on the po- dium for the fi rst time since 2011.

Current National Champi-

on Craft (Muncy Valley, Penn- sylvania) was also great, en-

the exact same spot on the podium he held to conclude last year’s World Cup season as the victor. In October, it was as the World Cup Finals champion. This time it was for the third World Cup win of the 2008 Olympian’s career as well as the start he was looking for with sights on Rio and Olympic selection. His 29/30 hits in the semi- fi nals would tie him with U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) teammate Derek Haldeman (Sunbury, Ohio) and ultimately earn the sec- ond of two Olympic country quotas in the event. The two

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